Suz is late for work and about ready to have a panic attack. She scurries around telling herself she cannot afford another breakdown. Literally cannot afford it.
I’ll lose everything again if I lose this crappy job. She thinks.
But this is the harsh reality. There are those out there who would kill for her crappy job. She feels guilty having breakdowns and complaining inside her head. Its just that she thought she would get a real chance, to do something she loved.
She had a chance. A half chance at her past job until the bosses favorite turned on her. There was nothing she could have done differently. The hire who you know somehow applied to civil service. Eventhough civil service should be about equal opportunity, she saw the truth now. A bunch of mostly unempathetic, incompetent, and unhealthy people who knew someone in order to get in. Suz was different. Why? Because she scored high, knew no one, and somehow went against the odds.
They burned her out though. Told her she was too nice, too sensitive, too caring. As a social worker though?! Suz didn’t get the memo she was supposed to treat everyone like an inconvenience. Their empathy was disminished by the idea that everyone was looking for a “hand out.” This attitude created hostility that was often times picked up on by their own brain.
How can people go into a field requiring empathy and have none? How are these people looking for hand outs, when they can barely survive on their wages? How is it their fault the programs to assist them, really supplement their lack of wages? Who wins? Corporate employers who don’t want to pay enough for their workers to survive. She thinks.
But it was all over. There was no going back. Perhaps Suz didn’t want to either. It was draining to be around the brainwashed. She could handle any so called “crazy” in the community, but couldn’t handle the hateful coworker. Now Suz felt like she was back to the drawing board. Back to a mundane restaurant job, without a purpose. It killed her mentally.
All she wanted was to help people. Actually make a difference in their lives. She felt like a servant, not living up to her potential. But still some people noticed her empathy. Her caring nature. They’d thank her for caring so much about a job, that isn’t respected by society as a whole. They would observe through her mannerisms, she was different than most. She radiated love in a crowd of hate. She was unaware of this. She was naive, like a child who never gave up on people.
Then one day they were able to extinguish her flame. Some days were trying inbetween, ingrained in Suz’s mind. Days filled with the rude customer, the jealous co-worker, the untrustworthy friend, and the unappreciative lover are all culprits in Suz’s life. Those who walk around with their heart on their sleeve; attract more people to please. And not all these people were worthy of understanding Suz. She just didn’t know how to close doors.
But she was calculated survivalist, an introspective philosopher, a soulful storyteller, a secretive singer, and a good listener. A little frame but a lot of hidden personality. For awhile, she’d hide from the world, healing the wounds from the vultures outside. Blaming herself for being in such situations at first, then realizing the people who hurt her were like breakable glass.
What drove Suz over the edge finally, was exhaustion and a lack of faith in humanity. She no longer entirely blames herself now. For years, she dealt with manipulative partners, family members, and friends. The constant guilt trips, belittling, gaslighting, and lack of support finally clipped her wings. And boy did they come off!
Waking up in the hospital was odd fif her. So many drugs in her system, reality felt further than ever away. Suz knew she needed the time away from the world though. To venture into a pill induced zombie state. She ached, threw up, couldn’t sleep, and couldn’t look anyone in the eye anymore. Shame took over her light and brought in the darkness. But Suz never feared the dark. She resided in the depths of it most her life. She tried to fight her way out of it most her life. But there was always some villian; ready to end her streak of favorable outcomes.
She weeped in pity for them. She weeped not because she was a victim too much; but because they never bothered to truly understand her. And deep down, she felt like she could try to understand a different perspective. She still had helpful intentions admidst all the forgiveness she granted. She was a lover, not a fighter, but fighting a world full of fighters. Until it became too exhausting, too much to digest.
She’s resorted to kindness instead in troubling situations and no longer had seen it as a weakness. Assertiveness if all else failed. The attention seeker, the homewrecker, the drunk, the fake friend, the manipulator, the stalker, the womanizer, the bad influence. She sees them all now for what they are; projectors. Projectors, projecting their problems onto other people in hopes of feeling less of their own reality. Like a drug, Suz felt like her energy was drained by these types of people. The other problem was they found others like them. Others who echoed their destructive behavior, or even reinforced it. And shame is less likely too, when people echo your bad behavior. Most of them avoided shame.
Suz often felt she had to deal with the effects of seeing people for who they were at a point in time. She was saddened by what they could be. She would think:
Everyone has a story of why they feel the need to cope in destructive ways. Instead of facing the reality though, they choose fantasy. I don’t know why I can’t escape into fantasy land anymore. Haha. I’ve sunken too far into the depths of despair.
But at the time, Suz didn’t realize it was what ultimately created her character. All the things she suffered at the hands of others only solidified herself in the end.